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DuPage County family law attorneysBeing a victim of domestic violence can be a confusing and scary experience to endure. Victims may be uncertain of what their abuser is actually capable of or if the abuser will follow through with his or her threats. In many cases, a victim of domestic violence may be unsure as to whether or not the treatment he or she is being subjected to even “counts” as domestic violence. If you have been a victim of abuse by a household or family member, romantic partner, or ex-romantic partner, an emergency order of protection may benefit you in several ways.

What Is Considered Domestic Violence?

When most people think of domestic violence, they imagine physical abuse like punching, hitting, pushing, slapping, and kicking. However, this is not the only type of abuse that may be cause for acquiring an emergency order of protection. Domestic violence or abuse can also involve psychological or emotional manipulation. An abusive person may humiliate, demean, or frighten his or her victim in order to control him or her. The perpetrator may also threaten the victim or the victim’s loved ones. Some abusers control victims through financial means such as withholding money, prohibiting the victim from gaining employment, or controlling the victim’s spending to an extreme degree. One of the most important things to remember about abuse is that many abusers escalate the abusive behavior over time. If someone has made you feel afraid for your safety, an emergency protection order can help ensure that the situation does not worsen.

How Does an Emergency Order of Protection Work?

You can obtain an emergency order of protection (EOP) based on your testimony alone. Your abuser does not need to be present. Many protection orders coincide with a domestic battery arrest or other crime, but the abuser does not need to be arrested in order for a victim or potential victim to be granted a protection order. EOPs become effective immediately and last for up to 21 days. 

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DuPage County emotional abuse attorneysMany people are under the misconception that domestic violence only involves physical violence like hitting and kicking. Emotional abuse can be much harder to recognize that physical violence, but it can be just as damaging to a person’s well-being. One of the most insidious parts of emotional or mental abuse is that the abuser often convinces the victim that he or she somehow deserves the terrible treatment. Many victims of emotional abuse are afraid to report the abuse or leave an abusive spouse. If you have been a victim of any form of domestic violence, speaking to a domestic violence attorney and requesting an order of protection may help.

Examples of Emotional Abuse

Abusive individuals may use a variety of tactics to control and dominate their victim. They may use derogatory, insulting, and manipulative language to break down the victim’s self-esteem. They may withhold affection, communication, and support. If your spouse, romantic partner, or family member controls who you talk to, discourages you from spending time with loved ones, and disrespects your boundaries, you may be a victim of emotional abuse.

Gaslighting is also very common in emotionally abusive relationship. Gaslighting refers to a situation in which an abuser convinces the victim that he or she is misremembering events, not thinking clearly, or even going insane. Emotionally abusive people may use financial abuse to further control their victims as well. Financial abuse can include controlling a victim’s access to money, prohibiting the victim from getting a job, or insisting on seeing receipts for every cent that the victim spends.

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DuPage County domestic abuse attorneysWhen you think of the words “abuse” or “domestic violence,” you may picture a man or woman with bruises and scars. However, abuse can involve much more than physical violence. One of the most insidious forms of abuse is financial abuse. Sadly, many marriages throughout the United States involve some version of economic abuse. If you have been a victim of financial abuse, you should know that there is hope. Divorcing a spouse who uses money to control and manipulate you can be difficult, but it is possible.

Warning Signs of Economic Abuse

Economic abuse typically involves restricting a victim’s access to financial resources. Abusers may control their victims’ access to money and refuse to let them have any financial independence as a means of gaining power over them. Research shows that most victims of financial abuse are women, but men can also be victims of financial abuse.

Some common warning signs that could indicate that you are in a financially-abusive relationship include:

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DuPage County domestic violence lawyersDomestic violence continues to plague millions of families throughout Illinois and around the country. Each year, an estimated 10 million women and men are subjected to physical abuse at the hands of an intimate partner, which averages to a shocking 20 per minute in the United States. According to the law in Illinois, domestic violence extends well beyond physical abuse, as the term also includes harassment, stalking, intimidation, and other forms of emotional and mental exploitation.

For many victims, filing for an order of protection is the first step toward seeking help and escaping an abusive situation. In Illinois, there are three types of orders of protection, and it is important to know how they each work.

Emergency Order of Protection

As the name implies, an emergency order of protection can provide immediate relief for a person who has been the victim of domestic violence or is afraid of becoming a victim. An emergency order of protection can be granted based solely on the sworn testimony of the victim if the court is convinced that the person is truly in danger or suffering emotional distress. The alleged abuser does not need to be notified in advance, nor is he or she required to appear. An emergency order can last for up to 21 days, enough time for a hearing to be scheduled regarding a more permanent solution.

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DuPage County domestic violence attorneysWhen you hear the terms “domestic abuse” and “domestic violence,” it is likely that you picture physical acts such as punching, slapping, shaking, or choking. Or, maybe you envision the effects of such abuse—bruises, a black eye, or a broken wrist. While these are certainly appropriate images for you to associate with domestic violence, domestic abuse refers to more than just physical actions. Psychological and emotional abuse can be just as devastating as physical violence, and those who emotionally abuse their loved ones must be held accountable for their behavior.

Recognizing the Signs of Emotional Abuse

Virtually all couples have arguments on occasion—and some may even get loud and ugly. Partners may yell and say hurtful things to one another, but this is not necessarily abusive. It becomes abuse when one spouse tries to exercise control over the other through such behavior. Rather than using actual or threatened physical violence, an emotional abuser uses words—including insults, lies, and partial truths—as weapons.

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